The future of social

Simon Kemp

I recently had the privilege of presenting at the International Advertising Association’s ‘What’s Coming Next?’ conference in London, alongside Sir Martin Sorrell and a host of other inspiring speakers.

The conference focused on ‘the future of marketing’, so it seemed appropriate to reprise our Social Brands thinking around some of the most important changes and trends that we’ve been exploring over recent months.

You can watch my full presentation in the YouTube embed above (or watch it here), and you’ll find the full set of slides in the SlideShare embed below.

To whet your appetite though, here are the five key themes I explore in this presentation:

1. Contentment Has More Value Than Content
When it comes to ‘content marketing’, too many marketers are confusing the means with the end. Our job isn’t to create content; it’s to create value for our brands. You need to spend as much time thinking about the outcome you want content to deliver as you do on creating the content itself.

2. Create Value Everywhere
Most marketers seem to think that the only time their brand can create a value exchange is when they sell their products and services, but this misses a whole world of opportunity. Think beyond your products to identify your brand’s broader value proposition, and go on to identify new opportunities to create and deliver that value beyond your existing portfolio.

3. Stop Repeating Yourself
In a world where we (as our brands) can interact with audiences in real time whenever we choose to, there’s no excuse for repeating the same 30″ story every 20 minutes for three months. We need to evolve beyond an advertising model that was designed to maximise media buying efficiency, and move to one defined by greater communications effectiveness.

4. Listen And Learn
Your audiences are already telling you what they like and love – as well as what they dislike. We need to treat social as an opportunity to learn as much as possible about the people we care about, and not just see it as an avenue to broadcast the things we want to say.

5. Become More Democratic
Most brands still behave like autocratic dictators, imposing their views and ideas on the world. However, the future belongs to ‘democratic’ brands that co-create mutual value with their audiences.

Be sure to watch the video above for all the insights and context, and check out the full set of slides below:

You can also download the complete Social Brands book here.